All Praise belongs to Allāh, Lord of the Worlds, and the good outcome belongs to the pious; may Allāh bless His chosen elite ones, the choicest from among those whom He favors - the manifestation of His kindness to the world, namely Muhammad (s) and his Pure Progeny (as).
In the Qur’ān, Allāh (swt) says: “When My servants ask about Me, I am indeed close to them. I listen to the prayer of every supplicant, when he calls on Me.”(al-Qur’ān 2:186)
In this day and age of strife, perplexity and confusion, it is all the more necessary that we ‘call’ on Allāh (swt) to protect us from the trials and tribulations of the modern era. The supplications taught to us by the A’immah (as) are indeed the best way to call upon Allāh (swt). While it is true that ritualistic recitations of supplications taught to us by the A’immah (as) have always been a significant part of our program of worship (‘ibādah), on a daily basis, we hardly ever pause to ponder upon the profound pronouncement we utter by way of the Du‘ā.
The Blessed Prophet (s) has said, “Allāh does not answer the supplication of a heedless heart,” and what that thought in mind, the present volume, Manifestations of the All-Merciful, by Shaykh Muhammad Khalfan, is a welcome addition to the corpus of literature on the commentaries of the commonly recited supplications as this work goes beyond the translation and a brief explanation of the words of the Du‘ā. This volume is a wonderful exposition of the richness of such supplications.
I recall, vividly, some four years ago, during the blessed month of Ramadān, receiving by way of e-mail from Shaykh Khalfan, a regular dose of the commentary on the verses of this Du‘ā, highly recommended for the month of Ramadān. Each day I eagerly looked forward to his inspiring e-mail, elaborating the deep meanings contained within each word of this Du‘ā. Subsequently, the Tabligh Section of Dar-es-Salaam Jama’at, under the able leadership of Al-Hājj Mehboob Somji published the work in book form.
I am so very pleased to be writing this forward for this second edition, which has encapsulated the full commentary of all fifteen verses of the Du‘ā.
The author, Shaykh Khalfan, is a scholar residing in Qum, who has a deep and unique insight into matters spiritual and we are blessed to have an opportunity to share this insight through this publication. Works of this nature show us that the profound words of the Du‘ā, from the Holy Prophet (s) and his Pure Progeny (as) are timeless and are as relevant today in the 21st century as they were in the seventh century when they were first uttered - perhaps more so today, when our preoccupation in perfecting the material aspects of life has robbed us of the spiritual dimension and has led us to be heedless of the very essence of our existence. Even our mode, manner and places of worship, may have given us the ‘means’, however not the ‘end’.
Thus, this book can be a beacon for us to regain sight of the ‘end’ - as the author elaborates in his introduction - this is a ‘journey of thought and concept’ that will lead us to ’comprehend the kernel of prayer’, Inshā-Allāh.
May Allāh (swt) give us ability to supplicate with a heart that is not heedless.
Rajab 27th 1426 ah / August 31st 2005 ce
Understanding the Merit of the Supplication
The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:
مَنْ دَعَا بِهٌذَا الدُّعاءِ فِي شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ بَعْدَ الْمَكْتُوبَةِ غُفِرَتْ ذُنُوبُهُ إِلـى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ.
“Whosoever beseeches with this supplication in the Holy month of Ramadān, after the prescribed prayer, his sins (dhunūb) shall be forgiven till the Day of Judgment.”1
Du‘ā is not a mere verbal utterance, but “a state of real want,” which is mostly manifested by the verbal supplication. However, as long as there is no harmony between “the inner state of want” and “the verbal utterance,” the supplication would lack its spirit.
Realizing this, we say that “the state of yearning for the betterment of the human species” is an ‘innate want’ of every human being who enjoys an untainted soul. This is because every human being has been fashioned with the Attributes of Almighty Allāh. And one such attribute is “mercy” which is all-embracing. Therefore the human being innately wants the betterment of every other human being. The reason why many of us do not experience this quality is because of our separation from the neighbourhood of our All-Loving Creator. Therefore we need to undergo self-purification to expose this quality, which has been veiled by the accumulation of sins and attachment to the world of matter. And when we experience the state of “yearning for the betterment of others” and translate the same in the form of words, our supplication shall carry meaning, and we will benefit from its great merit.
However, those who have not attained this station of proximity should not despair, but recite this prayer regularly with reflection. If such illuminative supplications were intended for perfect human beings only, then the Holy Prophet (s) would not teach it to all and sundry. Therefore, we should always try to recite the supplication with reflection and change. If one were to inculcate the sublime thoughts contained in this prayer, he could really wake up from his deep slumber and change his life.
In this Glorious Month, when the over-flowing Grace of the All-Gracious is continuous, let us humbly ask Almighty Allāh to enable us to be among those who utter this wonderful supplication as a manifestation of our inner spirits.
- 1. Bihār al-Anwār, v. 95, pg. 120, ch. 6